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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

John Gregory on Past Transfer Slurs Against Him & on the Panorama "Expose"

Gregory reveals transfer slurs
New QPR boss John Gregory claimed unproven allegations about transfer dealings stopped clubs employing him.
On the day he took over as QPR manager after a three-and-a-half year absence from the sport, Gregory said he believed his reputation in football had taken a battering.
In December 2002, the FA investigated Gregory's transfer activities while he was manager of Aston Villa, with the deals for defender Alpay from Fenerbahce, and forwards Juan Pablo Angel - the club's £9.5million record signing from River Plate - and Bosko Balaban from Dinamo Zagreb coming under scrutiny.
Gregory was never charged, but he insisted the allegations had been enough to damage his career.
"Were my job prospects harmed by the innuendo? Yes, absolutely," said the 51-year-old. "Rumours were spread about me which I am sure deterred a few chairmen up and down the country.
"A lot of people were put off, but what can you do?
"I was given the cold shoulder by most of the football world, when not long before that I had been linked with the England job.
"Because of rumour, people would not take me on. There were no facts - but I'm sure that during my first away match as QPR manager, someone will shout: "Had a bung today?" at me."
Gregory also derided last night's BBC Panorama programme, which investigated the alleged widespread corruption within football....
Gregory continued: "The Panorama programme was an absolute waste of the licence fee.
"All the trailers focused on Harry Redknapp, but his only contribution was to tell an agent (Peter Harrison) that he liked (Blackburn defender) Andy Todd.
"How they can then associate him with transfer irregularities after that is beyond me.
"Sam Allardyce did not even speak during the programme. He was not caught on camera talking about anything. There was nothing substantial whatsoever in the programme."
But the game's governing body are taking the content of Panorama more seriously, a....
Gregory believes Allardyce will survive the storm, but warned the 51-year-old boss he would face difficult times.
The former Aston Villa and Derby chief added: "Sam will need his family and all his pals to gather around him, look after him and keep him smiling.
"But he has a thick enough skin, and he is big enough to overcome it.
"What will the FA do? Look under his mattress, find there is nothing there and bring it to an end?
"Sam is an outstanding manager - one of the best in the country - and I just hope he is strong enough to overcome the insinuations."

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